Manjunath Shanmugam Integrity Award 2009

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Integrity - the state of being whole and complete, of taking a firm stand for what one believes is right, and sticking by it against all odds. Manjunath Shanmugam, a marketing manager for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), was an embodiment of integrity and valor. Manjunath, who had earned a degree in Computer Science Engineering from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, was murdered for sealing a corrupt petrol station in UP. He became a rallying cry for IIM, IIT and students of other institutions.
 

A pan IIM initiative, "The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust" was registered on 23 February 2006, Manjunath's birth anniversary. Although the immediate objective of the trust was to fight the case, they have a broader agenda of improving governance in Indian public life. The Trust lawyer Mr. I.B Singh, the Public Prosecutor Sri Chandramohan Singh, Trustees, volunteers and supporters worked hard to ensure quick justice. Sixteen months after the murder, all eight accused were found guilty by the Lakhimpur Khiri Sessions Court.

 

On 19th November 2006, Manjunath's first death anniversary,  The Manjunath Shanmugam trust invited nominations for the Manjunath Shanmugam integrity Award to honour and encourage persons or institutions who are working to uphold the vales of truth and honesty in Indian public life. The Award is for deserving candidates who have reported and worked to rectify corrupt practices in government, public or corporate life. The evaluation is on the basis of:

 

1.      Gravity of the situation and its impact on society

 

2.      Corrective action undertaken

 

3.      Extent of difficulty faced by nominee in correcting the situation

 

4.      Future course of action planned

 

5.      Need/ use for cash award

 

The award carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs. One Lakh. In case of multiple awardees, the cash prize will be given to the one who will utilize it more effectively in their work against corruption.

 

The Jury Panel consists of:

 

1. S.Gopalkrishnan, CEO and MD Infosys Technologies

 

2. Rama Bijapurkar, Strategy Consultant, and Independent Director on the boards of Infosys Technologies, UTI Bank, Godrej Consumer Products, Entertainment Network(India) Ltd. and Give Foundation.

 

3. Shekar Gupta, CEO, Indian Express Group, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, host of ‘Walk the Talk' on ndtv 24x7, author of the weekly column National Interest.

 

Magsaysay award winner Aruna Roy presented the award to Jitender Chaturvedi at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore on Saturday.  Aruna Roy is an Indian political and social activist. She served as a civil servant in the Indian Administrative Service from 1968-1974, before resigning to become social activist and working to empower villagers in Rajasthan.

 

She is best-known for her campaigns to better the lives of the rural poor in Rajasthan, and as the head of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathna, which she founded in 1990, and which worked towards the successful enactment of 'Rajasthan Right to Information Act'
The two other finalists were also adjudged winners of the award and will be given separate cash incentives.


The third Integrity Award was presented to: Mr. Jitendra Chaturvedi, Founder, DEHAT, Bahraich, U.P; Mr. Sanjiv Chaturvedi, IFS, Haryana; and Mr. Vinod Adhau, Revenue Officer, Amravathi, Maharashtra. The proceedings of the award ceremony were conducted at IIM, Bangalore on June 13th 2009. Elaborating on the profiles of the three winners . . .

 

Jitender Chaturvedi - a homoeopathic doctor, set up DEHAT (Development Association for Human Advancement) in his home district of Bahraich in UP. He helped the villagers break out of the exploitation of moneylenders and forest officials.

 

Vinod Adhau,- a village revenue officer in Maharashtra's Amravati district, ensured in 2005 that debt-ridden cotton farmers received the government bailout package. He taught the farmers to use the RTI Act to get to know about their dues.

Sanjeev Chaturvedi -a 2002 batch Indian Forest Service officer, helped stop poaching and construction of a canal in Haryana's Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary. He also blocked a herbal park in Fatehabad in Haryana on private land with government money.

 

The Manjunath Shanmugam trust has also worked closely with NGOs such as Kabir and Parivarthan to help in decentralizing the RTI Helpline. The MST will continue to work with such partners to enable effective usage of the RTI Act as a key weapon against corruption.